President Trump Turkish President Erdogan Joint News Conference CSPAN November 13, 2019 4:13pm-4:46pm EST
credibility of the witnesses for themselves and i'm confident that they will. thank you. >> why move to table the motion on the subpoena? >> and in just a minute we're going to live to where the president and turkish president erdogan have started a press conference. i want to let you know after this we will be taking your phone calls on the impeachment inquiry. >> i want to say i appreciate you all being here. you're doing a fantastic job for
the payment eople of turkey. to advance the vital interests of our people and the abiding friendship between our nations. we have a great relationship both personally and with the great country of turkey. and we look forward to moving that forward and making it an even bigger and better relationship. thank you very much. thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> translator: mr. president, my dear friend. distinguished ministers, secretaries, distinguished members of the press, i would like to at the onset salute you with my most heartfelt emotions on behalf of myself and my nation. first and foremost, i would like to thank my dear friend president trump and the first lady of the united states for being such gracious hosts today.
we've managed to comprehensively discuss all the issues in our agendas with mr. president all throughout the day, and the discussions were very sincere. we all agree that we need to further profound our cooperation and that turkish/american relations should be erected upon a strong and very healthy foundation. i think we should remain resolved in order to open up a new chapter in our relations which are in full compliance with our deeply-rooted alliance. we have reciprocally stated our will to fight terrorist organizations imposing a clear and present danger upon our national security. we have especially underlined the significance of fighting against daesh in a sustained fashion, especially in the aftermath of the death of baghdadi. we have obtained several
prisoners trying to flee the prisons in syria and come to turkey, and we currently have more than 200 daesh terrorists who have been incarcerated. and with the operation peace spring initiated on october the 9th, turkey took another step forward in fighting terrorism in a very resolute fashion. our country with this operation blew a very significant impact upon the separatist organizations such as pkk and ypg in syria. in order to further strengthen our cooperation in syria, we believe we have gained a significant momentum with our october 17th agreement or memorandum. but in order to harm this memorandum, pkk and ypg are attacking our soldiers and the civilians in a very provocative fashion, and in the last 24 hours more than 19 attacks and harassing shots took place.
and at the beginning of this month a bomb was placed, an explosive device was placed in an outdoor market, and as a result of the explosion 13 civilian lives were lost. despite all of these developments in order to settle the conflict in syria in a sustained fashion, we are reiterating our commitment to our memorandum, our agreement with the united states. but some circles were empathetic towards these terrorist organizations. our feeling deeply upset, they are deeply disturbed and they are using this information in order to cloud the understanding of the public opinion and that perception with the eventual gain or goal of harming our relations. and some historical developments and allegations are being used in order to dynamite our reciprocal and bilateral relations. especially in the house of representatives. some of the resolutions that
were passed on october 29th served this very purpose. hurt deeply the turkish nation and they have a potential of casting a deep shadow over our bilateral relations. and i shared this information with mr. president. the decision makers in an incident that took place about 104 years ago should not be politicians but historians. we have nothing to hide and we have a full self-esteem in that regard, but i need to state very clearly that we are as turkey on the side of dialogue and open discussion and debate. and we have voiced our proposals to the armenian party to open the archives reciprocally and establish a history commission. i believe the senate will take this -- take the united states out of this vicious cycle which happened as a result of the resolution of the house of representatives.
turkey and the united states stand side by side in order to fully eradicate daesh and in order to bring peace and stability to syria once and for all, and for this purpose we should keep on working together. turkey remains or it should be the most reliable partner of the united states in this region to achieve these targets. we are the only nato ally as turkey who has fought daesh in a very resolved fashion, and until so far we have detained 7,680 foreign fighters and sent them back to their foreign countries of origin. and we have given entry to 77,000 individuals who are 1,116 daesh members are incarcerated coming from 40 different countries. we have quite recently detained
287 individuals, including women and children who have fled the prisons that pkk and ypg used to control. our country is being showcased as a target and this terrorist organization caused 304 turkish citizens to die and against which we are going to keep on fighting, and it's very important to understand that the foreign fighters should be accepted by the countries of origin. and we have the same understanding with president trump in order to convince the countries of origin to do this. distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we have a border line of 907 kilometers with syria and when the war broke out nine years ago, we were the ones at the forefront impacted heavily and maybe the most. currently we have 3.65 syrian
refugees and a total of more than 4 refuges. we have spent $40 billion even beyond that for refugees in our country. until so far, europe only sent 3 billion euros, despite a higher pledge. through our ngos. so similarly, we are providing sustained humanitarian aid to more than 3 million people living on the syrian territory. back in the year 2015, at the g20 summit i launched an appeal in order to establish a safe zone in syria, but because of the delay, hundreds of -- the tens of thousands of civilian lives were lost. this problem cannot continue forever and ever. previously with our operation shield and operation olive branch, we have managed to clear an area of 4,000 square kilometers of terrorist presence.
and i agree with the proposals of the president. it's very important to realize our goals. i said operation euphrates shield and operation olive branch and through these operations we've managed to protect 365,000 syrians back to their motherlands, especially -- and thanks to the operation peace spring, we have securitied ma secures many towns and many villages and the rightful settlers are going back. we have shared our news with president trump and our several plans for the safe zone, and with the support of the united nations and international community, we can repatriate many more syrian refugees in the northern part of syria. we're talking of an area of 440 kilometers in length and 32 kilometers in depth. 1 million people can be
repatriated. and 1 million more individuals can be repatriated, so a total of 2 million refugees can be repatriated. ladies and gentlemen, as you know, the terrorist organization known as feto attempted to destroy the constitutional order of turkey with a failed coup attempt and it is a terrorist organization behind this failed coup. they have killed 251 individuals, harming 2,193 citizens, and they have even dared to bomb our parliament airborne. we have once again accentuated our expectations vis-a-vis our friends at the u.s. administration to once and foul eradicate feto presence here. and we have also discussed with president trump how to achieve the $100 billion trade volume threshold as soon as possible. we believe that we should not
confuse political incidents with commerce-related aspirations and our secretaries of commerce are currently heavily invested in achieving the $100 billion threshold. we hope and pray that we will shy away from certain measures which will make it much more challenging for us to reach these targets. and we have also quite naturally discussed our -- in the field of the defense industry. primarily the s-400 system and the f-35 program. we can only surfamount the hurds we face. in terms of the acquisition of patriot missiles and we have clearly stated to president trump that under suitable circumstances we could acquire patriot missiles as well.
as turkey, we are ready and committed to sustain a very constructive dialogue with the united states congress, and this is an idea that i've shared with president trump as well. so with these thoughts in mind, i hope and pray that our discussions and deliberations all throughout the day with president trump will yield the most auspicious results. i would like to thank president trump for their kind invitation and being the most gracious hosts throughout the day on behalf of my personal self, on behalf of my delegation, i would like to thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. president. and i called up the senate. i asked a couple of our senators, and we really ended up with five, and others wanting to come and we'll keep them apprised, but some of them joined us. they happened to be here. senator jim risch, thank you very much. senator ted cruz, thank you very much. lindsey graham. lindsey, thank you.
and wr and rick scott. thank you, rick, very much. joni is here someplace, joni ernst. these are people who want to see peace in the middle east. they came over to meet the president and we had a very frank discussion. we're dealing with a very big subject, a complex subject thar that's been going on for centuries in many cases, but we're making progress, tremendous progress in the middle east. a couple of questions. oan, go ahead. thank you. >> first i would like to start getting your general reaction today to the impeachment hearings on the hill. do you feel that the democrats made their case and how did you feel about the republican performance? >> you're talking about the witch hunt, is that what you mean? is that what you're talking about? i hear it's a joke. i haven't watched. i haven't watched for one minute because i've been with the president, which is much more important, as far as i'm concerned. this is a sham and shouldn't be allowed.
it was a situation that was caused by people that shouldn't have allowed it to happen. i want to find out who is the whistle-blower. because the whistle-blower gave a lot of very incorrect information, including my call with the president of ukraine, which was a perfect call and highly appropriate. and he wrote something that was much different than the fact. i want to find out why the i.g., why would he have presented that when, in fact, all he had to do was check the call itself and he would have seen it. i'm going to be releasing on thursday a second call, which actually was the first of the two and you'll make a determination as to what you think there, but i've heard just a report, they said it's all thirdhand information. nothing direct at all. can't be direct because i never said it. and all they have to do is look very, very simply at the transcript. if you read the transcript, this was analyzed by great lawyers.
this was analyzed by greg jarrett. this was analyzed by mark levin. by everybody. they said this statement that i made, the whole call that i made with the president of ukraine was a perfect one. so that this country gets put through that, that we have to waste this gentleman's time by even thinking about it, talking about it, i'd much rather focus on peace in the middle east, and i hear that it's -- i hear that it's a hoax and it's being played as a hoax. that's what i hear, but you'll have to tell me. go ahead. >> then if i may, on syria and peace in the middle east, president erdogan talked about repatriating syrian refugees back to their homeland. >> yeah. >> have you had those discussions with european leaders, since there are so many syrian refugees? >> well, no, i think, frankly, europe should be paying for this to a large extent. as of this moment, turkey's been paying for most of it, and i think the president was saying today they've spent over $40
billion on the cost of that. 40 -- >> how much? >> 40? that's what i said. whatever. he spent a lot, okay? they're throwing out all these different numbers. i heard it was $40 billion. how is that? 40 billion correct? so $40 billion, and i've heard that numbers from others and that's a lot. europe has contributed about 3. and a lot of these people would go all throughout europe. i mean, it would be a devastating situation for europe because he's got 4 million people. he has a lot of kurds, too, that they're helping and taking care of. so i -- i have spoken to europe about it. i think they should help us with isis because many of them left france and they left germany and they left uk, they left different countries, and these countries should help us because if they ever did get released, which we won't be doing, but if
they did get released, that's where they want to go, back to france and germany and uk and all those other countries that are not helping us. i gave them the option, would you like to have them back? and gently they said, no thank you, but that's not right and it's not fair. i can tell you also that turkey captured when they -- some escaped during the conflict when they had the heavy shooting, and, i mean, i think i know how they happened to escape, but it's one of those things it doesn't matter because turkey captured everybody that escaped plus an additional group. when we took over, when i became president, isis was rampant all over the middle east. and as of about a month ago, i think lindsey we can say that we have now 100% of the caliphate. they'll always try and grow, but they haven't been able to do that, and what we did last week with
with al baghdadi who is the absolute founder and leader set them back. we also got their number two and have our sights on their number three. i will say, turkey's been helping us a lot. >> with that i have a question for president erdogan. with what you're calling a realignment along the northern syria border, a lot of christians in that area are feeling very vulnerable. groups on the ground are saying attacks on christians have increased under this new policy and that they're not feeling safe any longer. can you guarantee that the turkish government will also protect christians in that region? there was an attack on an armenian priest and his father who died this week. isis is claiming responsibility. >> translator: thank you. thank you. on the contrary, yazidi and christian minorities is an area
where we're especially sensitive about and we have certain different plans. whether it be the ones remaining on the side of syria whose sanctuaries have been destroyed, whose churches have been destroyed. we'll see their sanctuaries getting revived and their churches will be reconstructed so that they can go back and start praying again. and these are the plans that we're making for them. as i said before, the christian minorities, catholics, caldoni and yazidi, the ones who are living on our side of the border have no problems whatsoever, but the ones remaining on the side of the syrian territory will see their worshipping practices restored and revived in a special manner. they are receiving health care. they are receiving humanitarian aid in every aspect possible. thank you.
>> thank you very much. would you like to pick somebody? a friendly person from turkey, please. friendly. only friendly reporters. we like to see. there aren't too many of them around. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. >> you have the burden of obama's flawed foreign policy, and one of those flaws was allying the u.s. with the u.s.-designated terrorist organization, the pkk and a syrian offshoot ypg. you're trying to mend the damage it did to u.s./turkey relations. however, you also invited the ringleader of ypg to the white house and he is responsible for at least 18 terrorist attacks in turkey which caused the death of 164 soldiers and 48 civilians. so after today's meeting, do you still think of inviting him to
the white house, which will be very offensive and hurtful for the turkish public? thank you. >> well, i had a very good talk with him. we had a very good -- recently. and we're working very closely together and we're also working very closely together with your great president. and a lot of things are happening. a lot of very positive developments are happening. a lot of that is definition. what's your definition of the various groups within the kurds? you call the kurds and then you have various groups. some like them and some don't, but i think we've made a tremendous amount of -- we've gained a tremendous amount of momentum and strength and knowledge over the last short period of time. so we'll see what happens. but i will say that the relationship with president erdogan and turkey has been outstanding. and, you know, it's a major country with a tremendous military. they're one of our very big purchasers of military
equipment. they have the finest equipment in the world. which the united states makes. we make by far the best equipment in the world. turkey understood that a long time ago. so i think a tremendous amount of progress is being made, okay? thank you very much. you can ask the president a question now. same reporter. you're sure you're a reporter. you don't work for turkey with that question? >> okay. i'd be glad to. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: mr. president, about feto, we are not getting the best of news out of the united states. and the feto office targeting turkey is extensively invested in their daily works. but i can see certain traces that the u.s. government is ready to understand more about feto. so my question is, how do you perceive the situation developing vis-a-vis the feto
terrorist organization and the american approach to feto in that regard? can we expect anything further? >> translator: yes. thank you. during this current visit, we are going to submit as we already have, actually, a great deal of documents and evidence. and feto is a terrorist organization and he is the leader, the ringleader of this terrorist organization. they have killed 251 people in turkey. they tried to undertake a coup against the government, the state, and more than 1,000 -- more than 2,000 people have been injured. and the ringleader is living on an area of 400 acres in the united states running his network all around the globe. and this is something unacceptable. and during this visit, as i've said before, we have introduced an additional array of documents. we will submit them to the
relevant authorities, including mr. president, and in the light of these documents, i think they will appreciate the situation. we sent the terrorists back if they ask for them and i'm sure they will do the same for us. >> john at fox, please. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. >> i know that you didn't spend a lot of time glued to the tv today, but there was one moment where ambassador bill taylor recounted a conversation that an aide of his overheard -- it was the day after the phone call with zelensky on july the 26th in which the aide says he overheard you say to sondland "how are things going with the -- proceeding with the investigations? sondland repeated back to you, according to this aide, that ukraine was prepared to do everything that you wanted it to do. was that -- is that correct? and can you fill in some more -- >> i know nothing about that. first time i've heard it. the one thing i've seen that sondland said was that he did
speak to me for a brief moment and i said no quid pro quo under any circumstances. and that's true. the other i've never heard this. in any event, it's more secondhand information, but i've never heard it. >> do you recall having a conversation with -- >> i don't recall. no, not at all. not even a little bit. the only thing -- and i guess sondland stayed with his testimony that there was no quid pro quo. pure and simple. yes, please. >> and president erdogan, president trump sent you a letter on october the 9th urging you not to launch a military action into northern syria. he said, quote, don't be a tough guy, don't be a fool. you ignored that letter and you went ahead and you launched a military action into northern syria. can you explain why you ignored the president's warning? >> translator: well, this letter was represented to mr. president
this afternoon. and i've also underlined the fact that a terrorist such as feto should not be considered as an interlocutor by a country such as the united states. and this individual, feto, has been instrumental in the killings of hundreds of turkish civilians and he is a person labelled as like a son for the terrorist leader who is currently incarcerated in turkey. so a person like this should not be welcomed by a country such as the united states. and similarly, this person was welcomed by a country such as russia. so it's very difficult for me to understand these when we're trying to fight terrorism on a global scale. if we're going to sustain our
fight against terrorism in a healthy fashion, we need to be much more sensitive than we currently are. it happens to us today and it will happen to somebody else tomorrow, is a saying that goes in our language. we have also provided information and the document thereof to our interlocutors in the white house. including mr. president. and i've also submitted a document produced by cia pointing out to the fact that this individual is a terrorist. to mr. president. and as i've said before, i've shared them with his excellency, mr. president, and we gave back the letter that we have received. >> thank you very much.
thank you very much, mr. president, for all you have done for kurdistan and for peshmerga in the fight against isis. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. >> my question is, all senators i meet all of them, i interview. kurdistan is very unique in the middle east and proud of all minorities. >> right. >> what is your clear policy on the kurds right now? and as i question for president erdogan, why you are not able to form negotiation with the kurds in syria as iraqi kurdistan? do you think they will be your friends in future? thank you very much. thank you very much, mr. president. >> well, thank you very much, and i will say that we've had a great relationship with the kurds. and we fought with them very successfully against isis. we fought together. ? we had -- we have great generals and we have great equipment and
it certainly helped a lot, but we were very, very successful and we captured, as i said before, 100% -- i was going to -- when we were at 97% i was going to say, well, that sounds pretty high to me, and i was thinnering about stoppi thinking about stopping it then and a lot of people said, please, go to 100 and very quickly, very rapidly, the military got the 100. i wanted to have that. but we have a great relationship with the kurds. we have had. we're with them now. we get along with them. and by the way, i think the president -- he may have some factions within the kurds, but i think the president has a great relationship with the kurds. many kurds live currently in turkey and they are happy and they are taken care of, including health care. we were talking about it before. including health care and education and other things. so that's really a misnomer. but our relationship with the kurds has been a very good one, okay? thank you.
>> translator: first, we have to make a distinction between two things. we have no problems with the kurds. we have problems with terrorist organizations. some terrorists coming out of the kurds, which are -- what are they ypg which are offshoots of the terrorist organization pkk. just as we have no problems with our brothers and sisters in the northern part of iraq where we enjoy great relations, and we have no problems with similarly our brothers and sisters in the northern part of syria during the times when assad was not recognized in the kurdish presence in the northern part, i told him that he needs to give these individuals passports and that he was making a mistake. and secondly, there is something really important i want you to know this. my political party has more than 50 mps of kurdish ethnicity in
the turkish parliament. we don't have problems with the kurds. we have problems with the terrorists. and, of course, you're not going to own up to the terrorists, are you? whoever they are, whoever they might be, we have to make a distinction here. we're just fighting terrorists, period. because the terrorists don't have an ethnicity, they don't have a nationality, they don't have a flag. if they are a terrorist, that is a terrorist. if you don't fight back then tomorrow you will have to pay a very hefty price. thank you. >> thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >>en. >> >> when did you last speak to rudy giuliani? >> are you sorry for your guards attacking americans? >> he can't answer the others but he can answer the last one.